US-based electric car brand Lucid Motors will open its first showroom in Canada this year in Vancouver. Lucid will disrupt the automotive market in Canada at a time when other electric car manufacturers are also expanding retail operations in this country.
Lucid Motors is a new luxury electric vehicle company based in Newark California. The design of the Lucid Air, the company’s first vehicle, is said to have been influenced by the state of California. The interior of the Lucid Air including its colours, materials and finishes, is said to be inspired by the diversity of landscapes and geography of the state creating a “post luxury” aesthetic, according to the company.
The Vancouver Lucid showroom will open at CF Pacific Centre in a retail space recently vacated by fashion brand Michael Kors. The storefront is located at street-level facing onto W. Georgia Street, allowing for vehicle access directly into the showroom. Michael Kors recently vacated its 2,800 square foot space at CF Pacific Centre as did footwear brand Stuart Weitzman which had a 1,300 square foot space next to it. An Apple flagship store is under construction across from Lucid’s new storefront.
Montreal-based construction firm SAJO is building the Vancouver Lucid showroom.
The Vancouver Lucid showroom will offer visitors the opportunity to see the new Lucid Air in person, including its technology, exterior finishes and interior materials. Because Lucid showrooms often only have one vehicle on display, a virtual reality experience will be offered where visitors can see different models, colours and interiors. Visitors will be able to put two cars side-by-side to compare different colour and trim options, for example. Technology from online gaming will be used as part of the virtual reality experience which will boast high-quality graphics.
The Vancouver showroom’s design will also reflect the aesthetic of the brand — the company’s Director of Color, Materials and Finishes says that the goal with the design of Lucid’s studio’s is to “create a luxury space that one would feel equally comfortable in wearing either business or beach attire.”
Competitor Tesla recently shut its downtown Vancouver location at 929 Robson Street. Another electric car manufacturer, Volvo-owned Polestar, will soon open a showroom at 833 Seymour Street just a short distance from CF Pacific Centre.
Tesla continues to operate its Vancouver showrooms in the Fairview area south of the downtown core as well as at the Park Royal Shopping Centre across Lion’s Gate Bridge from the downtown peninsula. Hyundai-owned electric car brand Genesis Motors also has a presence in the Vancouver market on Boundary Road, and the brand had been opening urban format showrooms prior to the pandemic.
Vancouver is said to be the top market for electric vehicle ownership in North America, making Lucid’s move into the Vancouver market an intelligent one. Last year, 9.2% of all vehicle sales in British Columbia were electric — up from just 4% in 2018. Trailing British Columbia is Quebec where almost 7% of cars sold are electric, followed by 2% of Ontario vehicles. The Montreal market could very well be Lucid’s next target for a showroom as 7.8% of cars sold in the city last year were electric.
Lucid Motors currently has six Studio locations open in the United States, including four in California and two in South Florida. The company told Retail Insider in a statement that it anticipates having 20 Lucid Studios open in the US and Canada by the end of 2021. The locations for Lucid’s US showrooms include a mix of upscale shopping centres as well as standalone units in trendy locations.
Lucid Air’s entry price is USD $77,400 before rebates and prices quickly escalate. The Lucid Air Touring style is priced from USD $95,000, the Air Grand Touring style starts at USD $139,000, and the Air Dream Edition is priced from USD $169,000. The base Lucid Air will have 480 horsepower and an estimated range of 653 kilometres. The Air will include a three-inch curved cockpit display, an advanced driver-assist system called DreamDrive, PurLuxe animal-free upholstery trim, and one of the largest front trunks of any electric sedan. Lucid is collaborating with Amazon to build in compatibility with Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa which will allow drivers to use the voice assistant for navigation, phone calls, media streaming, smart home control, and other activities while driving.
In 2016, Lucid Motors announced the planned construction of a $700 million manufacturing plant in Casa Grande Arizona that will soon employ 2,000 workers. In February of this year, Lucid Motors announced a deal valued at USD $11.75 billion to merge with Churchill Capital Corp IV, a publicly traded special-purpose acquisition company. CEO Rawlinson announced Lucid’s intention to produce its Project Gravity SUV by 2023, then offer a competitor to Tesla’s Model 3 by 2024 or 2025.
Formerly named Atieva, the company was founded in 2007 and rebranded as Lucid Motors in 2016. The original company was focused on building electric vehicle batteries and powertrains for other vehicle manufacturers. Some of Lucid’s 500 employees as of 2016 had previously worked at other car companies such as Tesla and Mazda, including CEO Peter Rawlinson who was the former VP of Engineering at Tesla, and Vice-President Derek Jenkins who was the former Head of Design at Mazda North America Operations.